April 23, 2020

Manchin: West Virginia Minority Communities Disproportionately Impacted By COVID-19

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) participated in a call with West Virginia African American community leaders to hear their concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Across the country, minority communities are being disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In West Virginia, African Americans make up only 3% of our population but we have seen much higher rates of critical COVID-19 patients who are African American. We know this community is often at higher risk due to factors beyond their control. I appreciate African American leaders from across West Virginia taking the time to share these and other concerns with me. I urge leaders from across West Virginia and the country to take the concerns of this community seriously. I will continue to work closely with federal, state and local officials to ensure our minority communities are not left behind as we move forward to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Manchin said.

"As an African American parent of a child who has tested positive for COVID 19, I appreciate Senator Manchin being accessible and being responsive to community needs. I think it is incredibly important for positive patients to be retested, if symptoms persist. We need more state leaders to recognize this great need so that African Americans who tested positive will recover successfully,” said Mary Tate, Retired Educator from Fairmont, West Virginia.

“The threat of potentially devastating health and economic consequences of the epic COVID-19 pandemic has cast a dark shadow over African American communities in recent days, however, the spirit of African American ministers, health professionals, community leaders and grassroots soldiers were lifted a little today after an hour-long conversation with Senator Joe Manchin. The Senator fielded tough questions and responded with candid and straightforward answers. He also promised to continue to provide access to himself and his staff along with his ongoing support. This was encouraging to the cadre of African American leaders across the state that participated in the call,” said Reverend Matthew J. Watts, Chairman and Spokesperson, The Tuesday Morning.

“On behalf on the West Virginia Branches of NAACP I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to Senator Manchin for making himself and staff available to answer our questions regarding the COVID19 Coronavirus and the impact being felt by WV citizens and the African American communities in particular. The information the Senator shared, his response to questions asked and the resources offered are greatly appreciated,” said Owens Brown, State President of the West Virginia NAACP Conference of Branches.

Over the last month, Senator Manchin has participated in calls with West Virginians representing the healthcare, banking, press, law enforcement, local government, education and business communities.  

Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus pandemic and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please click here.

To receive daily updates from Senator Manchin on the coronavirus pandemic, please click here